The coffin fell apart.
There was the sound of decayed wood crumbling, and a cloud of smoke surged out, like water vapour from a hot steamer.

Yan Lianke / Carlos Rojas

Recent Posts

2016 translations from Chinese

By Nicky Harman, December 4, '16

2016 covers

As usual, we have assembled a list of book-length translations from Chinese into English over the year. Congratulations to all authors and translators! This year’s list is longer than ever, and several books have won international prizes. Your additions, comments, corrections to this list are welcome - please leave a comment below and we’ll update the list. This is our fifth annual list; previous lists are here: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015...........


Nominate an organisation for the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards

By Nicky Harman, December 3, '16

In 2015 and 2016, Paper Republic were honourable runners-up. Asymptote won in 2015, Words without Borders in 2016. Anyone can nominate any group/collective/ to put in your nominations, see below.

The London Book Fair and UK Publishers Association are seeking entries from non-UK organisations for The Literary Translation Initiative Award at the LBF International Excellence Awards. Closing date is 15 December 2016.

Organisations that have succeeded in raising the profile of literature in translation, promoting literary translators, and encouraging new translators and translated works should apply/be nominated.

Who is eligible? Any company or organisation operating outside the UK, whose scope of achievement is outside the UK.

This is a great opportunity to follow in some illustrious footsteps, to be recognised by your peers and get some good publicity for your company. The shortlist for the awards will be unveiled in February and the winner announced at a gala awards event on Tuesday 14 March, during LBF.

To enter or learn more about the awards go to

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2016 Shanghai Translation Grant Winners Announced

By Helen Wang, November 30, '16

The Chinese name of the grant (《上海翻译出版促进计划》 翻译资助) translates more literally as the "Shanghai Translation Publishing Promotion Scheme translation grant". The terms and conditions can be found here. Details of the winners of 2016 Shanghai Translation Grant can be found here.

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Contemporary Novella Collection is Out

By Charles Laughlin, November 20, '16

By the River: Seven Contemporary Chinese Novellas is now available from Oklahoma University Press. Co-edited by Charles A. Laughlin, Liu Hongtao and Jonathan Stalling, this is the first collection to present novellas by multiple contemporary authors, and includes an introductory essay on the novella in China by Laughlin with Liu Hongtao. The stories are Jiang Yun's "The Beloved Tree" (蒋韵,《心爱的树》, Laughlin), Xu Zechen's "Voice Change" (徐则臣,《苍声》,Laughlin), Han Shaogong's "Mountain Songs from the Heavens" (韩少功,《山歌天上来》,Lucas Klein), Chi Zijian's "A Flurry of Blessings" (迟子建,《福翩翩》,Eleanor Goodman), Fang Fang's "Love and its Lack are Emblazoned on the Heart" (方方,《有爱无爱都是铭心刻骨》,Goodman), Li Tie's "Safety Bulletin" (李铁,《安全简报》,Laughlin), and Wang Anyi's "The Sanctimonious Cobbler" (王安忆,《骄傲的皮匠》,Andrea Lingenfelter). More details are available in the listing.

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Call for Submissions: Megacity Fictions

By David Haysom, November 10, '16


Megacity Fictions aims to investigate how writers and artists are responding to vast cityscapes which mutate and spread at unparalleled rates, often displaying extremes of global wealth and poverty; vertical towers built on new economic wealth surrounded by sprawls of immigrant slums. Submissions in creative non-fiction, fiction, ficto-critical writing and photography, exploring particular megacities, or the concept of massive urban hubs in general, are all invited.

If you're interested in submitting work or volunteering your services as a translator then you can get in touch by email (, or via the form at the Megacity Fictions page here.

Metropolises such as Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are all fairly well represented in fiction... but what about the likes of Wuhan and Tianjin? Any ideas?


Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize: The Reaction from Writers in China

By David Haysom, October 21, '16

Yes, China also noticed that Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

It is akin to Cui Jian [崔健] receiving the prize, argues Zhang Yiwu [张颐武], a professor at Peking University. “This year’s Nobel Prize for Literature was a complete surprise, an unexpectedly novel approach – a Black Swan, even. Yes, Bob Dylan has been a global megastar of music since the 1960s, and he influenced the new social movements of the era. But it’s a bold move for a prize that has been a staid presence in the literary landscape for so many years. It’s certainly innovative. In the age of the internet, anything’s possible.”
Chen Xiaoming [陈晓明], another literary critic, has also remarked on the unexpectedness of the award. “Perhaps this is something to do with the personal tastes of the committee,” he suggests, “a moment of nostalgia. Or perhaps reading his biography reminded them of their own youths, like some kind of performance art. Or another possibility is that this is their way of encouraging people to pay less attention to the prize, to stop treating it with such reverance. You’re all expected us to give it to Adonis, well okay then, we’ll give it to Bob Dylan.”
—translated from 诺贝尔文学奖颁给音乐人 为什么是鲍勃·迪伦

Here are a selection of responses from Chinese authors (collected from Weixin and Weibo by the Paper Republic team):